Achieving more together with Sport for Development

Project description

Title: Sector project Sport for Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

Kabul, Afghanistan. Equal opportunities, exercising together – not the norm in Afghanistan.girls and boys meet as equals at a sports festival hosted by German development cooperation actors in cooperation with German Football Association (DFB) © GIZ


Sport integrates and educates people and gets them moving. More than almost any other area, sport with its professional and voluntary structures reaches all social spheres, promotes participation and creates a feeling of togetherness across ethnic and social boundaries.

The 2030 Agenda confirms that sport makes a significant contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project contributes to several SDGs, including good health and well-being (SDG 3), inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16), and partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).

The project uses sport to achieve development policy goals. Sport includes all physical activities that promote physical and mental well-being and social interaction, from popular and recreational sports, games and exercise to traditional forms of culture and expression, such as dance.

Sport can have a particularly positive effect on the development of children and young people. They learn about fair and tolerant behaviour, strengthen their self-esteem and develop the willingness to take responsibility. Sport also teaches life skills – abilities that help individuals to master difficult life situations and develop perspectives for their own future.

The German Government has recognised this potential and is focusing on Sport for Development as a cross-cutting theme of German development cooperation (DC) in order to achieve other development policy goals. These include education, employment, the private sector and health along with goals in the context of displacement and migration.


The project uses sport in development cooperation to secure long-term improvement in the lives of disadvantaged children and young people.

Shuafat, Palestianian territories. Shaping the future – children and young people account for the majority of the population in almost all developing countries, and are crucial to the future of their nations. © GIZ


In a wide-ranging network with partners and local and international organisations, civil society institutions, sports associations, companies and academia, the project implements a range of projects with the partner countries. The German Olympic Sport Confederation (DOSB), the German Football Association (DFB) and the German Sport University Cologne (DSHS) are among the over-arching partners.

The project trains trainers, invests in sports infrastructure with long-term use, such as sports grounds and sports centres, and campaigns for fairly and sustainably produced sportswear. It also creates areas of learning for children and young people and improves their prospects through initial and continuing training.

A central component is the development of training manuals. These describe the methodology and support local trainers and teachers in applying it. The project works with local partners to adapt the approach to the conditions in each country. The manuals contain numerous examples of training units in different sports that are adapted to different age groups and cover different sports and social education topics.

Other focal points include policy advice on content and strategy, the further development of the German contribution with long-term national and international positioning, academic support, and monitoring and evaluation to review experiences and measure effectiveness.


By September 2019, the project had reached over one million children and young people in 37 countries through more than 50 projects, trained around 7,000 trainers and built and modernised 133 sports grounds in Africa alone.

From October 2019, the following partner countries will be among the focal points:

Colombia: The peaceful resolution of conflict, prevention of violence and the reintegration of internally displaced persons are the focus of the project in Colombia. A specially developed manual supports social reconciliation through sport. To date, 1,500 trainers and social workers have been trained in this area. They have reached around 90,000 children and young people.

Indonesia: In Indonesia, football is used to help schoolchildren learn positive values and life skills. Trained coaches and teachers run football training sessions for both girls and boys and also address topics such as health and prevention of violence.

Morocco: The first trainers have already been trained in Morocco. They have specialised in basketball, football and martial arts and come from communities with a particularly high proportion of migrants. Together with local partners, the project promotes access to integration services for migrants, refugees and returning Moroccans in these communities.

Tunisia: In Tunisia, the sports approach promotes the transfer of skills and career guidance for young adults in various areas. Activities promoted in the area of Sport for Development teaches them important personal and job-related skills.

Uganda: In Uganda, the focus is on athletics. The project there supports disadvantaged children and young people in disciplines such as running, jumping and throwing and in traditional sports. The trainers focus on life skills, health and social cohesion. There is a particular focus on children and young people with disabilities.

Western Balkans: In the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia), sport is used as a social learning environment to promote neighbourly understanding. To this end, the project is working with teachers, trainers and other multipliers to develop the relevant skills among young people and reflect on social issues with them.

To mainstream Sport for Development even more in the partner countries of German development cooperation, the project also, on request, advises interested DC projects and sports partners beyond the above-mentioned focus countries.

Salvador da Bahía, Brazil. All for one – German development cooperation actors use sport and exercise to teach life skills and initiate learning processes on topics such as the environment, gender equality and health. © GIZ / Florian Kopp

Additional information